Andrew County Courthouse bans smoking

SAVANNAH, Mo. – That next nicotine fix will be a bit harder to get for Presiding Commissioner Larry Atkins and other smokers at the Andrew County Courthouse.

After several years of inaction, the Andrew County Commission earlier this month passed a ban on smoking for the courthouse. That means Mr. Atkins and fellow smokers must now go 25 feet away from a building entrance if they want to light up.

Mr. Atkins admittedly suffers along with anyone else longing for a puff, but he offered the motion for the ban and said he tries to honor no-smoking regulations wherever he goes.


Impact of pay raises mixed for city workers

It’s been a year since St. Joseph city workers first received the raise in their paychecks that a half-cent sales tax provided.

Voters approved the tax increase in April 2001. When it took effect last October, the average pay raise was about $6,000 and lifted the average annual salary 22 percent, from $26,680 to $32,680.

Before the tax passed, many city employees said the raise would not only improve turnover rates in departments but their personal and financial situations would greatly benefit from the extra dollars as well.


Make-or-break season for local retailers

Cautious consumers, still weary about a sluggish economic recovery, are not expected to break spending records this holiday season, a national study shows.

A National Retail Federation survey predicts that 33 percent of consumers will not spend as much as they did last year and 56 percent plan to spend the same amount.


Making a home downtown

Downtown St. Joseph in 2005 is a far cry from the downtown of years past. Gone are the bustling streets and sidewalks filled with busy shoppers, but a new kind of pedestrian is starting to pop up in downtown: residents.


Pact accepted grudgingly

Union members sat watching as cracks appeared in the foundation of their lives, lives based on job security. Wire Rope employees left Sunday’s union meeting with the stunned looks of survivors who had barely ducked an impending disaster.